#HumpDayHaunts: 3 American Ghost Ships

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Using the hashtag #humpdayhaunts, I share a bit of paranormal history on my Instagram every Wednesday.  I’ve been letting my followers vote between two themes. The most recent candidates? Haunted Lighthouses or Ghost Ships. The winner? Haunted Lighthouses!

I must admit, I was a bit bummed. I love lighthouses, but I wanted to explore new territory. In addition to the Instagram #humpdayhaunts, I thought I might do a short post on 3 ghost ships (since I’m doing 3 lighthouses). In the end, everyone wins.

The Ghost Ship of New Haven

English settlers of New Haven Colony sent a ship to England in January of 1647 in hopes of selling some goods. The ship was not in the best condition, prompting Reverend John Davenport to say rather prophetically, “Lord, if it be thy pleasure to bury these our Friends in the bottom of the Sea, they are thine; save them!” The ship set sail and never returned.

A year or so later, as the legend goes, a summer thunderstorm hit New Haven. When the storm passed, the colony saw that very lost ship sailing the sky with battered sails. The Puritans took this as a sign of God’s anger.

(Source: Connecticut History)

The Palatine Light of Block Island

There was a shipwreck at Block Island (Rhode Island) on December 26, 1738. The ship Princess Augusta was filled with German Palatines and led by Captain George Long. The trip itself was awful: provisions were limited, people died from illness, and water was contaminated. Captain Long was among the casualties. First Mate Andrew Brook took over and charged passengers for food.

Now, the waters of history get a bit murky.

There are several versions of what happened with this shipwreck. Here are two popular endings.

  1. The people of Block Island saved the living passengers (that were pretty much left behind by Brook) and buried their deceased. The ship may have been scuttled or burned. Some theories said it was repaired and sent to its intended destination: Philadelphia.
  2. The people of Block Island lured the ship to the shore using a false light. They then murdered the passengers and took all their belongings. They set the ship on fire.

During the period between Christmas and New Years, people have witnessed a burning phantom ship. The phenomenon is known as the Palatine Light.

John Greenleaf Whittier made the story famous with the 1867 poem “The Palatine.”

(Source: New England Historical Society, Mental Floss)

And One More from the #HumpDayHaunts Archives

I love this story!

View this post on Instagram

It's a whole week of #humpdayhaunts! I'll share a haunted place or legend each day this week, because #HALLOWEEN. 👻 Have you heard about the “THE SHIP OF DEATH” in Wyoming? About every 25 years or so, a phantom ship appears on the Platte River. Witnesses of the ghost ship report a thick fog and a ghost crew covered in frost. The unfortunate witness that pursues a closer look might see the corpse of a still-living loved one lying on the deck. Sometimes the crew is surrounding the person or the captain is motioning towards the loved one's body. This loved one always dies soon after. 👻 100 or so years ago, a trapper named Leon Webber saw the ghost ship (this is the first reported sighting). When he got closer to the ship, he saw his fiancée lying on the top deck. She died that same day. The next reported sighting was 25 years later (1887) when Gene Wilson, a cattleman, saw his wife lying on the ship's deck. She too died the same day. The last reported sighting was in 1903. Victor Hiebe was chopping firewood one autumn day at his residence along the river (or he was a lumberjack). He saw the fog and then the ship…and then the body of his good friend hanging from a noose. This friend had been convicted of murder, though Victor believed in his innocence. Victor last heard his friend escaped from prison. The same day of the sighting, Victor's friend was captured and put to death. 👻 There have been no reported sightings since, but I recommend avoiding the Platte River on foggy days. . . . . . #halloween #scarystory #scarystories #fall #autumn #october #ghost #ghostship #ghosts #paranormal #supernatural #hauntedplaces #haunted #folkore #history #urbanlegend #Wyoming #scary #horror #writersofinstagram #spooky #paranormalactivity

A post shared by 𝕹𝖔𝖙𝖊𝖇𝖔𝖔𝖐 𝖔𝖋 𝕲𝖍𝖔𝖘𝖙𝖘 (@notebookofghosts) on

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